Clark Regional announces temporary closure of COVID-19 infusion clinic; zero-visitor policy

Published 4:11 pm Friday, September 17, 2021

Clark Regional Medical Center has closed its COVID-19 infusion clinic due to an anticipated national shortage of monoclonal antibodies according to a news release.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced on Monday that it will start determining allocations of the antibodies for hospitals based on local case counts, local hospitalization rates and the utilization of antibodies year-to-date.

The supply rationing shocked hospital officials. 

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“The recent change in access to monoclonal antibodies was a surprise to many hospitals, including Clark Regional Medical Center,” said the hospital’s chief executive officer, Matt Smith. “We are hoping that production will increase soon, but this is out of our control for now.”

Monoclonal antibodies are manufactured antibodies that are similar to ones that the human body makes to fight infections. The treatment is usually given to patients who face greater health risks from the COVID-19 virus. 

Smith said that the public should take advantage of the available COVID-19 vaccines.

“We urge our community members to get vaccinated, it is the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19, and avoid serious illness and hospitalization,” he said.

The hospital’s regular infusion clinic for cancer patients remains open.

As of September 15, the hospital has also implemented a zero-visitor with three exceptions: one emergency department visitor per patient other than a COVID-positive, one support visitor for the Center for Women and Babies and one parent or guardian for pediatric patients.